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Devils Defeat Firebirds in OT

A key basket by Melissa Rotz and a free throw from Sarah Hickman helped secure a 66-64 overtime victory for the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia women's basketball team Thursday night as they defeated University of the District of Columbia at the Bobby Morgan Arena in Philadelphia.

USP climbs above the .500 mark for the first time this season with an 8-7 record. UDC falls to 8-13.

Marissa Chesnavich (Bishop O'Reilly HS/Pittston, Pa.) led the Devils with 16 points (7-9 FG) and Caitlin Shaw recorded a double-double with 15 points (4-7 FG, 7-10 FT) and 12 rebounds. Alyssa Hamm added 10 points and Rotz (Central Dauphin HS/Harrisburg, Pa.) nine. Rotz led the Devils with four assists while Hamm and Carolyn Edwards (St. Basil's Academy/Huntington Valley, Pa. ) recorded three steals apiece. Edwards and Chesnavich also had two blocked shots each.

Lillian McGill paced the Firebirds with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Stacy Griffith came off the bench to score 10 and grab 12 rebounds. Nicole Cooper added 11 points. Jasmine Rich led UDC with three steals.

Leading up to the overtime, the Devils erased an eight point deficit in the second half with an 11-0 run, capped with a three-point field goal and a layup by Colleen Christian to give USP a 48-45 lead with 8:12 left. Four minutes later, the Devils opened a five point advantage 54-49 on Shaw's layup but saw the lead evaporate on a 9-2 Firebird run which put the visitors up by two points with just 12.3 seconds left. After a UDC timeout the Devils brought the ball up court and Shaw drove the lane for the game tying layup with just 2.9 seconds left. Rich's half court shot at the buzzer fell short sending the game into the extra frame.

UDC struck first in the overtime period with a pair of free throws with 2:34 left. Shaw followed with a layup (USP's first shot of the OT period) to tie it again at 60-60. After a firebird miss, the Devils came down and Rotz nailed a three-point shot to give the Devils a 63-60 lead with 1:18 left. UDC scored four of the next five points to tie the game up again at 64-64 with 35 seconds left. Ten seconds later Hickman was fouled and made the first of two shots to give the Devils a one-point lead 65-64. The Firebirds came down and Cooper missed the shot as Hamm grabbed the defensive board and was promptly fouled with just over two ticks on the clock. Hamm converted one of two shots and the Firebirds were unable to get a shot off to give the Devils the win. USP took just two shots in the overtime period and made both while going 3-6 from the free throw line. UDC was 1-9 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line.

Both teams made 24 field goals with the Devils taking just 53 shots (45.3%) and UDC 66 (36.4%). Both teams were 12-19 from the free throw line (63.2%) The Devils made six three pointers (6-18, 33%) while UDC made just four (4-13, 30.8%). USP's better shooting offset a 44-34 Firebird advantage on the glass, including a 22-11 posting on the offensive glass (16 2nd chance points for UDC). The Devils committed one more turnover 24-23 but had better ball movement, dishing out 13 assists to UDC's six.

The Devils return to action on Saturday, January 30, 2010 when they host Dominican College in a CACC crossover match. Tip off is set for 1:00 p.m.